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FLOW TRACK OPEN IN YIGO FOR GCF MEMBERS

Guam cyclers have a new place to play during this pandemic, a flow track up at the International Raceway in Yigo for all GCF Members!

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Members of the Guam Cycling Federation (GCF) have a new playground. GCF President Eric Tydingco said new membership increased this year because of the pandemic and the introduction of a new course.

“We’ve seen an explosion in our membership. All I can share is anecdotal evidence that it is the result of two things: the increase in the number of bikers due to the COVID19 situation and specifically to the photos we’ve been posting showcasing the flow-track.”

The new flow track recently constructed is at the Guam International Raceway (GIR) in Yigo. “The cool new flow track up at GIR was initiated by our board member, Paje Butler. He was able to work directly with partners at Smithbridge who provided the dirt for building the track,” said Tydingco.

The new track allows experienced and new comers to find their fun! (photo courtesy of Eric Tydingco)

“Not only is the flow track fun to ride for experienced riders who want to get some “air” on some of the jumps, it is shaped in a way that even novices can comfortably roll through the course. This is part of our long-term plan for BMX development as the skill necessary to learn on BMX can be learned on this flow track,” said Tydingco.

GCF will have BMX under their umbrella just as Volleyball has Beach Volleyball and Basketball has 3-on-3 Basketball. Guam has already seen an increase in popularity with Beach Volleyball and 3-on-3 Basketball; GCF is hoping the same pattern will follow with BMX biking. The flow track is just the beginning and is a giant step forward to attracting more participation. 

Tydingco acknowledged that his sport also offers athletes from other sports to keep in shape while not having access to train in their usual environment.

“With the closures of gyms and CrossFit boxes, these folks wanted to maintain an exercise regimen. Some already incorporated running into their physical fitness, but many others wanted something that was low-impact. This is reinforced by verified news of a global shortage and long wait times at bike shops for purchases.”

New form of training

Life is different for the athletes in Guam since the coronavirus invaded our island earlier this year. The biggest impact are athletes who need contact to play their sports such as football, wrestling, basketball and rugby. Government restrictions forced these athletes to stop training with others and gyms were temporarily closed during Guam’s PCOR1. 

What were athletes to do? Athletes who needed to keep busy took up running and others picked up a bike and started cycling. Guam National Basketball team member Earvin Jose said he started running and then also took up biking to improve his stamina.

“I was used to playing basketball year-round and then the pandemic took that away,” said Jose. “I couldn’t lay around and be lazy.”

(photo courtesy of Eric Tydingco)

“Cycling started to pick up everywhere, and the more I saw it, the more I got curious to try it. For a while, I was borrowing a bike from friends because I was enjoying the exercise. I (eventually) decided to get my own bike and got deeper into cycling, particularly mountain biking. I got into mountain hiking because a favorable exercise for me, because my whole body is working,” said Jose.

Jose said he tried the flow track in Yigo and said it is great for all levels of workouts. “You can work on distance, speed, climbing, downhill, endurance, etc… one of my favorite tracks on Guam.”

Fellow basketball athlete Jin Han also took up biking. “The main reason for me was to continue staying active since there really isn’t many options due to the pandemic. I also love the challenge of a new sport,” said Han.

“The course is great! It really hits all skill levels of riders. I really enjoy the challenges of the technical portions. The drops and jumps are also a lot of fun but can be dangerous if not prepared,” said Han.

The Federation is happy to have the increased interest in cycling, but everyone must not ignore the most important thing: Safety. “I Wanted to stress to all the new cyclists to please be safe. It is the LAW that you must wear a helmet. When riding on the road (which is legal), adhere to the traffic rules (stopping at red lights, staying on the right of the outer lane). If you must ride at night or in the early morning, use a quality bright taillight and headlight. And please…practice social distance rules when riding with more than one person,” said Tydingco.

Want to be a GCF member? Check out their website for membership and future events:

https://www.guamcycling.com/

(photo courtesy of Eric Tydingco)

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